Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states; the Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was created as the British Commonwealth through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931; the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community, established the member states as "free and equal". The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not technically hereditary.
The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 32 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs. Member states have no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by English language, history and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law; these values are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games. The countries of the Commonwealth cover more than 29,958,050 km2, equivalent to 20% of the world's land area, span all six inhabited continents. Queen Elizabeth II, in her address to Canada on Dominion Day in 1959, pointed out that the confederation of Canada on 1 July 1867 had been the birth of the "first independent country within the British Empire", she declared: "So, it marks the beginning of that free association of independent states, now known as the Commonwealth of Nations." As long ago as 1884 Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia, had described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911. The Commonwealth developed from the imperial conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, attended by delegates from the Dominions as well as Britain; the term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, when the term British Commonwealth of Nations was substituted for British Empire in the wording of the oath taken by members of parliament of the Irish Free State. In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
The term "Commonwealth" was adopted to describe the community. These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland joined Canada as its 10th province in 1949. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1947 respectively. Although the Union of South Africa was not among the Dominions that needed to adopt the Statute of Westminster for it to take effect, two laws—the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act of 1934—were passed to confirm South Africa's status as a sovereign state. After the Second World War ended, the British Empire was dismantled. Most of its components have become independent countries, whether Commonwealth realms or republics, members of the Commonwealth.
There remain the 14 self-governing British overseas territories which retain some political association with the United Kingdom. In April 1949, following the London Declaration, the word "British" was dropped from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect its changing nature. Burma and Aden are the only states that were British colonies at the time of the war not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Former British protectorates and mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Sudan, British Somaliland, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates; the postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship and the desire for freedom and peace". Hoped for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in 1954
The Tongan Passport is an international travel document, issued to Tongan citizens. In 2017, Tongan citizens holding regular Tongan passports had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 111 countries and territories, ranking the Tongan passport 47th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index. Tonga signed a mutual visa waiver agreement with Schengen Area countries on 20 November 2015. Tongan Protected Person passports are sold by the King of Tonga to persons who are not a Tongan citizen. Tongan Protected Person passport holders can not settle in Tonga on this passport; those holders are refugees, stateless persons, individuals who for political reasons do not have access to any other passport-issuing authority. Some countries/regions, e.g. Hong Kong, do not recognize the Tongan Protected Person passport as a legitimate travel document, refuse entry to the holder attempting to enter on this passport. Visa requirements for Tongan citizens
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process; the formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law.
Religious laws played a significant role in settling of secular matters, is still used in some religious communities. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most used religious law, is used as the primary legal system in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia; the adjudication of the law is divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct, considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law deals with the resolution of lawsuits between individuals and/or organizations. Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, economic analysis and sociology. Law raises important and complex issues concerning equality and justice. Numerous definitions of law have been put forward over the centuries; the Third New International Dictionary from Merriam-Webster defines law as: "Law is a binding custom or practice of a community. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner's in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: "A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, complex mode of regulating human conduct.
At the same time, it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are of great importance." There have been several attempts to produce "a universally acceptable definition of law". In 1972, one source indicated. McCoubrey and White said that the question "what is law?" has no simple answer. Glanville Williams said that the meaning of the word "law" depends on the context in which that word is used, he said that, for example, "early customary law" and "municipal law" were contexts where the word "law" had two different and irreconcilable meanings. Thurman Arnold said that it is obvious that it is impossible to define the word "law" and that it is equally obvious that the struggle to define that word should not be abandoned, it is possible to take the view that there is no need to define the word "law". The history of law links to the development of civilization. Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000 BC, contained a civil code, broken into twelve books.
It was based on the concept of Ma'at, characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality. By the 22nd century BC, the ancient Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu had formulated the first law code, which consisted of casuistic statements. Around 1760 BC, King Hammurabi further developed Babylonian law, by codifying and inscribing it in stone. Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; the most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, has since been transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian and French. The Old Testament dates back to 1280 BC and takes the form of moral imperatives as recommendations for a good society; the small Greek city-state, ancient Athens, from about the 8th century BC was the first society to be based on broad inclusion of its citizenry, excluding women and the slave class. However, Athens had no legal science or single word for "law", relying instead on the three-way distinction between divine law, human decree and custom.
Yet Ancient Greek law contained major constitutional innovations in the development of democracy. Roman law was influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were sophisticated. Over the centuries between the rise and decline of the Roman Empire, law was adapted to cope with the changing social situations and underwent major codification under Theodosius II and Justinian I. Although codes were replaced by custom and case law during the Dark Ages, Roman law was rediscovered around the 11th century when medieval legal scholars began to research Roman codes and adapt their concepts. Latin legal maxims were compiled for guidance. In medieval England, royal
King, or king regnant is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, while the title of queen on its own refers to the consort of a king. In the context of prehistory and contemporary indigenous peoples, the title may refer to tribal kingship. Germanic kingship is cognate with Indo-European traditions of tribal rulership. In the context of classical antiquity, king may translate in Latin as rex and in Greek as archon or basileus. In classical European feudalism, the title of king as the ruler of a kingdom is understood to be the highest rank in the feudal order subject, at least nominally, only to an emperor. In a modern context, the title may refer to the ruler of one of a number of modern monarchies; the title of king is used alongside other titles for monarchs: in the West, emperor, duke or grand duke, in the Middle East, sultan or emir, etc. The term king may refer to a king consort, a title, sometimes given to the husband of a ruling queen, but the title of prince consort is sometimes granted instead.
A king dowager is the male equivalent of the queen dowager. A king father is a king dowager, the father of the reigning sovereign; the English term king is derived from the Anglo-Saxon cyning, which in turn is derived from the Common Germanic *kuningaz. The Common Germanic term was borrowed into Estonian and Finnish at an early time, surviving in these languages as kuningas; the English term "King" translates, is considered equivalent to, Latin rēx and its equivalents in the various European languages. The Germanic term is notably different from the word for "King" in other Indo-European languages, it is a derivation from the term *kunjom "kin" by the -inga- suffix. The literal meaning is that of a "scion of the kin", or "son or descendant of one of noble birth"; the English word is of Germanic origin, refers to Germanic kingship, in the pre-Christian period a type of tribal kingship. The monarchies of Europe in the Christian Middle Ages derived their claim from Christianisation and the divine right of kings influenced by the notion of sacral kingship inherited from Germanic antiquity.
The Early Middle Ages begin with a fragmentation of the former Western Roman Empire into barbarian kingdoms. In Western Europe, the kingdom of the Franks developed into the Carolingian Empire by the 8th century, the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England were unified into the kingdom of England by the 10th century. With the breakup of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, the system of feudalism places kings at the head of a pyramid of relationships between liege lords and vassals, dependent on the regional rule of barons, the intermediate positions of counts and dukes; the core of European feudal manorialism in the High Middle Ages were the territories of the former Carolingian Empire, i.e. the kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire. In the course of the European Middle Ages, the European kingdoms underwent a general trend of centralisation of power, so that by the Late Middle Ages there were a number of large and powerful kingdoms in Europe, which would develop into the great powers of Europe in the Early Modern period.
In the Iberian Peninsula, the remnants of the Visigothic Kingdom, the petty kingdoms of Asturias and Pamplona, expanded into the kingdom of Portugal, the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon with the ongoing Reconquista. In southern Europe, the kingdom of Sicily was established following the Norman conquest of southern Italy; the Kingdom of Sardinia was claimed as a separate title held by the Crown of Aragon in 1324. In the Balkans, the Kingdom of Serbia was established in 1217. In eastern-central Europe, the Kingdom of Hungary was established in AD 1000 following the Christianisation of the Magyars; the kingdoms of Poland and Bohemia were established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1025 and 1198, respectively. In Eastern Europe, the Kievan Rus' consolidated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which did not technically claim the status of kingdom until the early modern Tsardom of Russia. In northern Europe, the tribal kingdoms of the Viking Age by the 11th century expanded into the North Sea Empire under Cnut the Great, king of Denmark and Norway.
The Christianization of Scandinavia resulted in "consolidated" kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, by the end of the medieval period the pan-Scandinavian Kalmar Union. Fifteen kings are recognized as the heads of state of sovereign states. Most of these are heads of state of constitutional monarchies. Thomas J. Craughwell, 5,000 Years of Royalty: Kings, Princes, Emperors & Tsars. David Cannadine, Simon Price, Rituals of Royalty: Power and Ceremonial in Traditional Societies. Jean Hani, Sacred Royalty: From the Pharaoh to the Most Christian King. Media related to Kings at Walter Alison. "King". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15. Pp. 805–806
Prime Minister of Tonga
The prime minister of Tonga is the country's head of government. Tonga is a monarchy with the king Tupou VI, as head of state.. The current prime minister is ʻAkilisi Pōhiva, in office since 30 December 2014; the office of prime minister was established by the Constitution of 1875, whose article 51 stipulates that the prime minister and other ministers are appointed and dismissed by the King. During the 2000s, the country experienced an increase in democratization. In March 2006, King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV appointed Dr. Feleti Sevele, a moderate member of the Human Rights and Democracy Movement, as Prime Minister. Sevele was the first commoner to hold this post since Shirley Waldemar Baker in 1881. All the prime ministers since Baker had been members of the nobility, or the royal family. In July 2008, King George Tupou V announced more substantial democratic reforms, he would abandon the essential part of his executive powers, would henceforth follow the custom of monarchies such as the United Kingdom, exercising his prerogatives only with the Prime Minister's advice.
In addition, he would no longer appoint the Prime Minister anyone he wished, but would appoint a member of the Legislative Assembly to be elected by the Legislative Assembly. Tonga Politics of Tonga List of monarchs of Tonga Lists of incumbents World Statesmen – Tonga
A Prime Minister is the head of a cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. A prime minister is not a head of state or chief executive officer of their respective nation, rather they are a head of government, serving under a monarch in a hybrid of aristocratic and democratic government forms. In parliamentary systems fashioned after the Westminster system, the prime minister is the presiding and actual head of government and head of the executive branch. In such systems, the head of state or the head of state's official representative holds a ceremonial position, although with reserve powers. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime minister is chairman of the cabinet. In a minority of systems, notably in semi-presidential systems of government, a prime minister is the official, appointed to manage the civil service and execute the directives of the head of state.
The prime minister is but not always, a member of the Legislature or the Lower House thereof and is expected with other ministers to ensure the passage of bills through the legislature. In some monarchies the monarch may exercise executive powers that are constitutionally vested in the crown and may be exercised without the approval of parliament; as well as being head of government, a prime minister may have other roles or posts—the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for example, is First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. Prime ministers may take other ministerial posts. For example, during the Second World War, Winston Churchill was Minister of Defence and in the current cabinet of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu serves as Minister of Communications, Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and Interior; the term prime minister in its French form, premier ministre, is attested in 17th Century sources referring to Cardinal Richelieu after he was named to head the royal council in 1624.
The title was however informal and used alongside the informal principal ministre d'État more as a job description. After 1661, Louis XIV and his descendants refused to allow one of their ministers to be more important than the others, so the term was not in use; the term prime minister in the sense that we know it originated in the 18th century in the United Kingdom when members of parliament disparagingly used the title in reference to Sir Robert Walpole. During the whole of the 18th Century, Britain was involved in a prolonged conflict with France, periodically bursting into all-out war, Britons took outspoken pride in their "Liberty" as contrasted to the "Tyranny" of French Absolute Monarchy. Over time, the title became honorific and remains so in the 21st century; the monarchs of England and the United Kingdom had ministers in whom they placed special trust and who were regarded as the head of the government. Examples were Thomas Cromwell under Henry VIII; these ministers held a variety of formal posts, but were known as "the minister", the "chief minister", the "first minister" and the "prime minister".
The power of these ministers depended on the personal favour of the monarch. Although managing the parliament was among the necessary skills of holding high office, they did not depend on a parliamentary majority for their power. Although there was a cabinet, it was appointed by the monarch, the monarch presided over its meetings; when the monarch grew tired of a first minister, he or she could be dismissed, or worse: Cromwell was executed and Clarendon driven into exile when they lost favour. Kings sometimes divided power between two or more ministers to prevent one minister from becoming too powerful. Late in Anne's reign, for example, the Tory ministers Harley and Viscount Bolingbroke shared power. In the mid 17th century, after the English Civil War, Parliament strengthened its position relative to the monarch gained more power through the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and passage of the Bill of Rights in 1689; the monarch could no longer establish any law or impose any tax without its permission and thus the House of Commons became a part of the government.
It is at this point. A tipping point in the evolution of the prime ministership came with the death of Anne in 1714 and the accession of George I to the throne. George spoke no English, spent much of his time at his home in Hanover, had neither knowledge of, nor interest in, the details of English government. In these circumstances it was inevitable that the king's first minister would become the de facto head of the government. From 1721 this was the Whig politician Robert Walpole. Walpole chaired cabinet meetings, appointed all the other ministers, dispensed the royal patronage and packed the House of Commons with his supporters. Under Walpole, the doctrine of cabinet solidarity developed. Walpole required that no minister other than himself have private dealings with the king, that when the cabinet had agreed on a policy, all ministers must defend it in public, or resign; as a prime minister, Lord Melbourne, said, "It matters not what we say, gentlemen, so long as we all say the same thing."
2006 Nuku‘alofa riots
The 2006 Nukuʻalofa riots -- known as the Tongan riots -- started on 16 November, in the Tongan capital of Nukuʻalofa. The Legislative Assembly of Tonga was due to adjourn for the year and despite promises of action, had done little to advance democracy in the government. A mixed crowd of democracy advocates took to the streets in protest; the riots saw a number of cases of robbery, vehicle theft and various property damage. Riots broke out around 3:30 pm TOT as rioters threw stones, broke windows, looted. By about 6:00 pm, rioters started setting buildings on fire; the first targets of the rioters were government buildings. They attacked enterprises, including some that were leased to ANZ Bank and those owned by the Prime Minister Feleti Sevele. A private shop selling mobile telephones and advertising for Tonfön was next. Rioters attacked and burned the main office of the Shoreline Group of Companies, located one kilometer away from the small central business district. Several of the larger Chinese shops were targeted for burning.
Other shops, including one owned by ethnic Indians, were burned as well, but it is not clear if they were intentionally set on fire or caught fire from surrounding buildings. At about 6:00 PM TOT rioters torched the Royal Pacific hotel; the hotel was located on one of the main roads into the city. There are many commercial buildings on the thoroughfare, the fire spread to some of those buildings as well. According to an article in Tonga Now law-abiding Tongans of both sexes and all ages were participating avidly in the looting. However, some photos would seem to indicate that the car-tipping and arson were the work of young men; this conception would be reinforced. At nightfall, the police and the Tonga Defence Services regained control of the central business district and were turning away anyone who tried to enter. Estimates of the damage varied; some estimates said. It was announced. Since most of the employees of the affected businesses managed to reach safety, news reports speculated that the dead were looters.
It is not clear if the deceased have been identified or if identified, when their names will be released. The Tongan government declared a state of emergency. Only firefighters, utility workers, etc. were allowed inside a perimeter defined by Vuna road, ʻAlipate road, Mateialona road, Tupoulahi road. Residents of that area could enter only after being searched. For the next month, gatherings of more than five persons were illegal in that area. Emergency laws gave security forces the right to search people without a warrant; the Tongan government promised reform. Popular elections were held in 2008, in which a majority of the Legislative Assembly were elected by popular vote; the Chinese embassy chartered an airplane to evacuate Chinese nationals. 110 soldiers and 44 police officers from Australia and New Zealand arrived to help the local police to establish order. The New Zealand army was to be in charge of airport security and the police were to protect the High Commission; the Australian contingent from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment were to assist and relieve exhausted Tongan police.
A leader of the Tongan pro-democracy movement, MP'Akilisi Pohiva, has criticised the intervention of Australian and New Zealand peacekeepers following the riots. Some businesses had temporarily relocated to the suburbs; some looted items were returned. Police were investigating mobile call logs. According to the Matangi Tonga newspaper, twenty-six arrests had been made and the number of deaths had been revised down to six. Nukuʻalofa was by now peaceful; the town center was still cordoned off and patrolled, but local shop owners and the like could get permission to enter the restricted area. Some Chinese shops which escaped damage were now open again. Major shops and banks, were still operating from temporary locations in the suburbs. Peace was believed to be restored and foreign forces began leaving; the forbidden area in town was reduced. Police had made 571 arrests; the first business to rebuild and reopen was the Fung Shin supermarket, which opened in new premises on 19 December 2007. In November 2008, rebuilding began with an anticipated three years of work for the infrastructure to be complete.
Roads, footpaths and more were planned by Minister Paul Karalus. Funding was provided by low-interest Chinese government loans amounting to $US55 million. In July of 2018, Tonga was expected to begin the repayments that ended up being US$100 million+ from the Chinese government; the commitment to begin this process was made by'Akilisi Pohiva. In late January 2008, the Tongan authorities renewed a Proclamation of Public Order for the sixteenth month running, a lingering aftermath of the riots; the statement reads: "It is hereby proclaimed that there continues to exist a state of danger" in central Nukuʻalofa. According to the Proclamation, the area will remain "controlled and maintained by the Tonga Police Force and Tonga Defence Services for the sole purpose of maintaining public order for all people of the country". Tongan information minister Afualo Matoto announced that the state of emergency would be maintained for another three months; this was criticised by Tongan pro-democracy advocate Akilisi Pohiva: "I don’t see any reason for government to continue to hold on to the emergency power."The state of emergency was lifted in August 200